Disclaimer: nothing's mine.


He loves saying her name, rolling it around his tongue with nearly the same pleasure received from a kiss.


He finds many excuses and reasons to say it, many variations and styles in which to enunciate it. It's a whisper that escapes his lips, a call of greeting from across the room, happily stated, seductively, angrily, curiously, teasingly, repeatedly.

He's long since realized he's grown possessive over her name, criticizing in his mind the way others vocalize it. Hearing her name on the lips of another boy, and he sometimes believes his ears have been magically attuned to both the sound of her voice and the softest mention of her, sparks a fierce jealousy within him and he usually vocalizes it in rapid fire fashion throughout the subsequent conversation, as if to prove no one else can say it quite like he can.

He sometimes wonders whether he enjoys saying her name more than he delights in hearing her call out to him.

James, dearest.

Well, he likes to think she would address him with such affection. It is a rare occurrence for her to ever actually say his name, for she has probably never in her entire life had to try and capture his attention before speaking. She captivates him, and she knows this, and if his eyes aren't fixed on her when she's around him, his head is tilted slightly in her direction as if to let her know exactly where his focus is.

He loses himself in the feelings her name conjures up within him. He pictures the flower, of course, an entire field of them spread out before a majestic sunset. Lily, laughing, lying in a bed of her namesake, her hair weaving through petals as she gazes up at him twirling a flower around his fingers. He says her name over and over, tucking the lily behind her ear, and wishes a scene like this one could be real.

He thinks he would be content to sit with her in his arms for the rest of his life, murmuring her name into her hair, her skin, her ear. One day, he is fairly certain the effect her name has on him will begin to work on her, as well, and she will demand to hear it, again and again and again.


He marvels over the sheer brilliance of the word, praising her mother for both the beauty she had brought into the world and her ingenious choice of names. He promises himself he will one day kiss the feet of the woman responsible for Lily Evans.


'Lily' is a word, a name, an idea, a feeling, a surrender. He curses himself for all those years he wasted calling her by her last name, wishing he had been perfecting his ability to turn a simple delivery into a vocal caress, a gentle cajoling of come hither and love me.

He knows she loves him, and also knows she has shied away from saying it because she feels too young, feels unready. He is content to wait, pondering what the word 'love' would taste like in his mouth, but satisfying himself with playing with her name. When he does finally say that word, he wants her to smile and repeat it back to him, but only if she means it and only if she knows she means it, free from pressure. Truth be told, he has begun his articulation of love already, though he keeps her in the dark about it. He says it in his mind a thousand times a day, and solemnly utters it on quiet nights to the three boys he trusts most in the world.


She has a fascination with touch. She comes up behind him in the Common Room and her hands dance along his shoulders, briefly massaging, before traveling up to tug on his hair. Then she's leaning across one side of him, her arms wrapping around his chest as she hugs him from behind, her hair sweeping across his cheek and her lips lightly caressing his neck. It's her signature way of physically saying Hey, I'm here, and his friends despair over her ability to render him unable to carry on a conversation in a matter of moments. She's often found sitting on his lap when there are empty seats to either side of them, and she's the one likely to slide her fingers in between his as they walk next to each other. She enjoys picking up his hand as they sit in the Common Room, or the library, or the Great Hall, or outside, and running her fingernail across his palm. Sitting next to him on the couch, she moves close enough so their thighs touch, or she'll sit on the floor and rub his feet.

She is always in motion, a green and red blur of energy, and he associates her wandering nature with her roaming hands and considers himself the luckiest guy alive to be the one she'll stop and sit down for, even if her hands are still waving around and her feet are still tapping. He reckons one day he'll teach her the art of relaxing. They'll spend all day in bed, they'll take a bath, they'll just be. Maybe one day they'll find a field like the one he pictures when he says her name and set up camp for the rest of their existence, living off of love.

They still argue as they did before, but he notes the change. Fond exasperation has replaced the offended anger, and she has grown tolerant of his mischievous nature, going so far as to even join in on a prank or two here and there. She throws her arms in the air after he's found the right button to push and abandons her love of touch, pulling away when he tries to pull her close. In the end, she can resist him for only so long and finds her way back into his arms.


A cold winter night sweeps across the school and they take up residence in front of the fireplace, keeping warm. Both are quiet, their thoughts jumbled by the effect of being close to each other. She twists and fidgets in his arms, burrowing her face in his chest before planting a kiss in the hollow of his throat. She smiles to herself as he shivers, knowing it has nothing to do with the cold. His hand plays with her hair and his lips brush against her forehead.

"Lily," he murmurs, as only he can, and she pulls back.

Their eyes meet, his steady and loving, hers seemingly wildly intoxicated. One corner of his mouth lifts up in that smile he reserves for her, only her, and she tilts her head until she's close enough to kiss him, her words nothing but breath on his face.

"I love the way you say my name."